Monday, September 17, 2012

Lips Together, Teeth Apart

Four adults in a summer house that one of them inherited on Fire Island across
from Long Island for the July 4th weekend during the early 1990s. What could
possibly go wrong?

“Lips Together, Teeth Apart” is being presented through September 23rd at the
Chanticleer Theater. For a community theater group this play has to be
daunting for only having four characters which requires all four to be on stage
for over two hours.

This drama involves two husband/wife teams with one husband and one wife being
brother and sister. This adult play encompasses numerous issues such as
infidelity, cancer, infertility, homosexuality, mercy killing, secrets,
communication, listening, and how our attitudes and beliefs about AIDS have changed since 1991.

John Carlson. as John is believable as the smart one, even doing his crosswords,
and making words up to fit the spaces rather than the definitions. He succeds with his character being both arrogant and pitiful at the same time. Deb Kelly portrays his wife, Chloe, who fluctuates between being helpful and perky, while
overbearing all at the same time. She also shows how some older sisters quickly
assume their earlier role as caretaker. Jay Huse plays Sam who is Chloe's little brother. He quickly shows his character's insecurities and uncertainties while still playing at being a responsible adult and not quite succeeding at that
part. Liz Mulhern is Sally who is the sulky, artsy, and intelligent with usually some minor errors. She has her own personal issues while also carrying guilt from her brother's death. These four succeed in revealing their characters' flaws in their relationships with each other, completely exposed.

The acting and directing is outstanding especially considering all the dialogue
and the demands with all characters being constantly on stage. This show is certainly a challenge both to perform and direct in that there are so many adult issues which were all performed exceptionally well. The sound, sets, lighting, costuming, background sounds, and even a cameo bat appearance in the night sky were all perfectly executed.

For the next two years, the Chanticleer Theater will be presenting many shows
which are all involving area talent.
“Lips Together, Teeth Apart” will continue through September 23rd with the show beginning at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The tickets cost $17 for adults, $14 for seniors, and $9 for students. Contact the box office at (712) 323-9955 or email for tickets.

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